2016 is going to be a big year for adventure and adrenaline travel. According to Virtuoso's travel advisors, five must-have experiences for travellers in 2016 include discovering untouched places, crossing something off your bucket list, and pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone.
We've outlined each of the sought-after travel trends below, alongside some of our actionable tips on how to benefit as a tour operator.
If you have an adventure travel company, this is your time to shine, whether you have a paragliding, ropes course, or canyoning business (or something even more adventurous).
1. Discovering untouched, unique places
We recently wrote about how Italy topped many categories in the 2016 Virtuoso Luxe Report, but travellers are also wanting to explore, especially new destinations. Cuba, Bhutan and Myanmar are ranking high on advisor top-choice lists for 2016, but wherever you are, think about ways in which you can market your destination as off-the-beaten track.
On your website, highlight how your tours or activities provide a unique experience that tourists can't get elsewhere. Focus on the little-known points of interest, one-off panoramas, and unique surroundings. This will clearly be easiest if your ropes course is in, say, Costa Rica, but we say work with what you've got.
Download your free writing handbook to improve your content and attract adventure-seekers to your business.
2. Creating unforgettable memories
One of the most satisfying parts of being an activity provider is sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences with others. Provide your customers with memories that long outlive the experience itself and they will be your word of mouth ambassadors for years to come.
Tourists in 2016 are keen to use travel as a way to celebrate a milestone or spend time with extended family, says the Virtuoso report, so think about the social elements of your tours or activities as well as what individuals have to gain. What about a family ropes course discount, or a paragliding discount for couples?
To target this must-have experience, you need to get back to the very basics: what kind of experience does your activity provide? What memories do your guests treasure long after?
3. Crossing something off your bucket list
It's so easy to pack a bag, get on a flight, and spend a few nights in a cheap Airnnb on the other side of the world. This means it's also easier than ever for travellers to tick off experiences that they've always wanted to do, be it paragliding in the Pyrenees, scuba diving in Bali, or trekking in Nepal.
Make sure you're prepared for the tourists that are about to book a flight and search for the activities you offer online.
Can you stand out from your competition? Offer your customers online booking software and allow them to sort their plans in a matter of minutes, without having to worry about converting cash or picking up the phone.
You also want to make your website more visually-appealing and easy-to-navigate than other activity providers in your region. And don't forget about the experience itself: make sure it's great, show off how great it is, and have reviews to back-up what you're saying.
4. Pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone
We provide booking software for a range of adventure activity providers around the world, and our TrekkSoft office itself is based in the adrenaline hotspot of Interlaken in Switzerland.
Interlaken is extremely popular with adventurous travellers, and we know this is because there are so many activities on offer that let you get out your comfort zones and transcend limits.
Who doesn't feel great after achieving–and enjoying–something that made you uncomfortable before? Market your adventure tour or activity as a way for travellers to feel on top of the world.
5. Enjoying closer-to-home experiences
2016 isn't just about jetting off to the far away corners of the world, says Virtuoso. There's also the appeal of staying closer to home and saving a bit, while still enjoying the best getaway from day-to-day life.
American travellers might choose to visit Virtuoso's top US destination, New York, or spend a few days in Mexico. Europeans have the allure of weekend breaks in cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Budapest, combined with the added temptation of cheap easyJet and Ryanair flights.
Are you effectively targeting your closer-to-home potential customers who are in search of adventure and adrenaline for 2016? Make a name for yourself as a leading activity provider in your region, especially by improving your TripAdvisor ranking and appearing higher in Google searches. We've made the latter a little easier for you with our new SEO ebook:
Arrange a call with our team and find out how tour operators double their revenue with our online booking system:
Published by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.